What can I say. After nearly 16 years, some 8,200 published articles, I’m humbled and overjoyed to have been graced with this incredible honor. I thought this day would never come. But it’s a testament to hard work, perseverance, and never giving up on your goals. If I haven’t accomplished anything else, and if I accomplish nothing ever again, I can die with a smile on my face from the fulfilling warmth of knowing that for at least one shining moment, I was in Luke Bryan’s kitchen.
I want to thank God. I want to thank the Academy. Of course I want to thank all of my friends and family. And I want to thank all of you—the sainted Saving Country Music readers, for making all of this possible. In the immortal words of Pedro Sánchez, all of my wildest dreams have come true.
This all stems from an article I posted last week highlighting the criticism of another critic named Ross Raihala who attended a Luke Bryan concert at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday, October 14th. Raihala wrote an honest review (paywalled) of his experience at the concert that Luke Bryan took exception to. I piped up in Raihala’s defense, and added a little extra color. That was all. Really, I was a secondary player in the whole thing.
But when Ross Raihala retweeted my article, Luke Bryan came for Raihala a second time, and responded to me, “You can kiss my ass too.”
My response was, “You mad, bro? Just got done telling someone that you’ve always seemed like one of the sincerely nicest people in country music. I still believe that, and appreciate your pluck here by responding. Some of your album cuts aren’t bad I guess…”
No reason to get ugly. No time in life for all that. In fact, I respect the dash that Luke Bryan showed by even responding. That’s a lot more than a lot of folks in the “Americana” community are willing to do as they lob grenades my way, but block me because they’re too cowardly to engage in actual repartee.
Anyway, I delve much more into this matter, as well as the other big stories of the last week on the 2nd episode of the newly-launched Saving Country Music Roundup podcast. This where on a weekly(ish) basis, I will round up the biggest stories of the week, and upon occasion, offer addition commentary like I do on the Luke Bryan situation. Not all of the content on SCM can be found there. But for folks who are too busy to read everything, this is your audio alternative.
It’s available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and many other podcast networks. You can find the RSS Feed HERE.
Meanwhile, you can see country music’s Gomer Pyle hosting the upcoming CMA Awards on November 8th, as well as the upcoming season of American Idol.